hands-on article by Frank Nimphius, March 2020
Messengers differ in the components and layouts of the user interface that they support. An extreme example of this difference is the comparison of SMS as messenger with Facebook Messenger. While Facebook Messenger offers extensive user interface components such as cards, lists, images and attachments, SMS is just text.
Differences however also exist between messengers that support rich user interfaces components. Slack, for example, does not have support for horizontal card layouts, whereas Microsoft Teams supports adaptive cards, a proprietary layouts format that allows bot designers to build their own card layouts.
As a developer of chatbots, it's not just about finding the lowest common denominator for the design of the user interface for bots that can be reached via different channels. It's also about presenting the best possible user interface for each channel (image below). The implementation to represent the best possible user interface for a channel is what I call adaptive bot design.
Following the instructions in this hands-on, you will leverage channel optimizations built-in to Oracle Digital Assistant and use adaptive design techniques for the SMS and the Slack channel. The goal for this article is to introduce the concept of adaptive design and to give you a first set of tools at hand that get you started.